Ebay history

Who doesn’t know eBay today? This global phenomenon has become the world’s largest online marketplace, racking up millions of transactions in various currencies around the world on a daily basis. eBay is a place to buy and sell almost anything on the Internet, almost anywhere in the world. Any business of this magnitude, most would think, probably would have required a large amount of capitalization. Not quite for eBay.

eBay started in 1995 as AuctionWeb, a part of the personal site of French-Iranian computer programmer Pierre Omidyar, 28. The funny thing is, this worldwide phenomenon was actually fueled by the sale of a broken laser pointer. As far as stories go, the broken laser pointer was auctioned and sold for $ 14.83 to a collector.

In 1996, Jeffrey Skoll, an MBA holder from Stanford, took over as AuctionWeb’s first president. It was also during this year that AuctionWeb signed its first partnership agreement with a company called Electronic Travel Auction to sell travel-related products, including airline tickets, through SmartMarket technology.

A year later, the site was renamed eBay, short for Omidyar’s Echo Bay Technology Group consulting firm. The media interest was sparked by a made-up story that the site was created to help Omidyar’s fiancé sell Pez candy dispensers. There was a lot of promise on the auction site that prompted venture capital firm Benchmark Capital to invest about $ 5 million in eBay.

The year 1998 marked another milestone for Omidyar when eBay went public. When the initial public offering opened at $ 53.50 a share instead of the $ 18 price target per share, eBay’s revenue growth has followed the uptrend for years. Needless to say, Omidyar and Skoll became billionaires in an instant. As the new president and CEO, Harvard graduate Meg Whitman has steered eBay toward steady growth and business expansion over the years. Despite a slowdown in growth in recent years, eBay continues to enjoy a decent amount of revenue.

The $ 45 billion company now has websites in some 27 countries, although it serves wholesale and retail transactions around the world. It boasts of an extensive collection of items for sale in just about any condition you can imagine. From the usual everyday items like clothes and shoes to mundane items like a cooked but uneaten piece of Brussels sprouts, to celebrity-related items like Elvis Presley’s leftover water, eBay has items of all sizes, shapes and categories.

eBay continues to grow today with CEO Whitman still at the helm. Community content features have been enhanced on eBay with the addition of the eBay Community Wiki and eBay blogs to their standard sections such as discussion forums, groups, response center, chat rooms, and more. Mobile services such as SMS alerts, WAP access, and J2ME clients are also available in various territories. EBay’s business has also expanded from wholesaling and retailing to allied businesses such as online payment systems, Internet protocol systems, classifieds, and real estate. EBay’s most recent acquisitions include Skype, PayPal, Craigslist, Half.com, Rent.com, Shopping.com, and Prostores. Without a doubt, these companies provide eBay with the support it needs to drive further business growth.

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